In May of 2013 this blog pointed out some of the ways in which feminists -- not all women, just feminists -- unwittingly prove that women are not the equal of men. Last night I was reminded of yet another way.
I saw Gone Girl. It features various female characters who are ditzy, two-faced, or downright sociopathic, along with a couple of intelligent, level-headed, likable female characters.
As you may be aware, feminists have objected strongly to the portrayal of the female sociopath, saying she presents a bad image of women. The feminists seem particularly incensed because this sociopath wreaks her havoc in a uniquely female way, leveling unfounded accusations of rape, falsely posing as an abused woman, and taking advantage of naive men.
Strangely, the feminists have not objected to the other female characters. If I were the type of woman whose sense of personal self-worth was wrapped up inextricably with that of every female character I saw on screen, I'd be far angrier about the portrayal of the ditzy, gossipy neighbor, or the airheaded Nancy Grace parody, or the trailer trash robber. The main sociopath is, while evil, is also intelligent, inventive, and capable.
But what's most telling is simply that the feminists have chosen to complain in the first place. Movies are, after all, fictional entertainment. And they simply wouldn't be entertaining if they didn't feature a wide variety of both male and female characters spanning the gamut from saintly to evil.
Should there be a rule that all the bad people must be men and women can only be portrayed in a positive light?
Imagine if men objected to negative portrayals of men.
"We at the National Organization of Men object to the portrayal of Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. The invidious stereotype that most serial killers are male feeds into the kind of sexism which hurts the self-image of impressionable young boys."
"We would like to register our unhappiness with the character of Sergeant Barnes in Platoon. That most war criminals are male is a pernicious cliche which has haunted men since the dawn of time. It would be far preferable if those soldiers who do happen to be men were shown to be acting in a more positive, peaceful spirit of cooperation."
"NOM does not approve of the character Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. These films promulgate the ancient, outdated canard that men are responsible for most of the violent crime in this country. We demand that in the future Freddy be portrayed as a giving, caring, and compassionate person."